An ancient palace believed to date back to the Mycenaean civilization has been unearthed in southern Greece.
The 10-room Aghios Vassileios complex is thought to have been built between the 17th and 16th centuries BC and was discovered near the ancient village of Xirokambi, close to where the warrior society of Sparta existed, the country’s Culture Ministry announced.
It is believed the palace was destroyed in a fire in the late 14th or early 15th century BC, UPI writes. Religious icons and items of worship which survived the blaze have been found on the site.
The Culture Ministry said in a statement: "The palace complex of Aghios Vassilios provides us with a unique opportunity to investigate, with the use of modern excavation and analysis methods, the creation and evolution of a Mycenaean palatial center in order to reconstruct the political, administrative, economic and social organization of the region.
"Alongside, it is estimated that new evidence on Mycenaean religion, linguistics and paleography will also be brought to light."
Artifacts found within the ruin include fragments of murals, a cup featuring a bull’s head, bronze swords and clay figurines.
According to Agence France-Presse, excavations in the area have been ongoing since 2009 and have already yielded “inscriptions on tablets detailing religious ceremonies and names and places in a script called Linear B, the oldest script to be discovered in Europe.”
Linear B reportedly first appeared in Crete in around 1375 BC and was only deciphered in the mid 20th century.
The find is “hugely significant”, Torsten Meissner, a classicist at the University of Cambridge told Live Science.
Citing the belief that Homer’s epics The Iliad and The Odyssey were inspired by Mycenaean culture, the channel points out that all the other famous sites mentioned by the author have been found.
Meissner adds: “Mycenaean, or Bronze Age, Sparta was the last ‘big prize’.”